Charlie Peacock Concert; Random Stories–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–September 1993, Part 5

Charlie Peacock Concert

On September 19, Pearl and I went to the S– Evangelical Free Church.  Tara P., a member of the women’s volleyball team, was our driver.  She was a member of the church, and very tall and friendly, with dark hair.

I loved the church, which was big, had beliefs much like my own, and was very lively.  Everyone seemed cheerful and friendly and excited about God.

When filling out my gold registration card one Sunday, I asked for information about the church; this I received in the mail in October, and after reading it through, I decided it was much like my own church in both structure and theology.

I felt I had found my church home for S–, now that there was no longer a Nazarene church.

Sunday School was at 9:30am, and church at 10:45.  There were two services, one at 8:15, but the 10:45 one was packed.

As for Sunday School, this was a college class and had three other students.  Everyone there was friendly.  One was a blond named John, and the others were two young women.

One kept talking to John in such a way that you could tell she liked him.  John was cute, so I asked Tara about them later; she said they weren’t dating but the girl wanted to.

IV planned to go to a Charlie Peacock concert, and taped a flyer about it to the top of the information desk in the Campus Center, such as people often did with flyers.  Next to it was a sign-up sheet.

Some Sigma frat brats, however, got together and wrote derogatory comments about Peacock’s last name.  I had never, ever thought of his name that way before; I always thought of it as referring to the bird with the beautiful, colorful tail, not to a certain four-letter-word.

These frat boys wrote their names in the sign-up list, making us think a bunch of people were coming to the concert, then erased them or crossed them out.  We were incensed at their rudeness and their feeble, immature attempts at humor.  Pearl said they were doing themselves a disservice because “Charlie Peacock is really talented.”

Pearl and I and maybe one or two others went to the concert.  A woman in her thirties or forties drove us there in her van.

Elmbrook was a gigantic church in Brookfield (now we call it a mega-church) with a sanctuary/auditorium that seated the whole church, which I believe held about 5,000 people.  Pearl’s aunt went there, and kept longing to go out with one of the many Christian men she always saw there.  This church was a popular place for Christian bands and singers to perform.

Peacock sat on the stage at a grand piano and played.  He sang “Dear Friend,” to the delight of both Pearl and me.  He told us about his life, and that this was going to be his last performance: he wanted to spend more time with his family.  Though understandable, this depressed Pearl and me.  However, it wasn’t so bad after all, because he released more albums after this.

I wanted to meet Peacock afterwards, but he disappeared, and all we could find was his opening act, Out of the Grey.  I’d bought this couple’s Shape of Grace CD over the summer.

The husband, Scott Dente, was wonderfully cute, with dark hair and a long nose.  The wife, Christine, was beautiful, too, but Pearl and I didn’t want to look at her.  (You can see them here.)

During their act, Scott joked about being overshadowed by Peacock on the tour.  When we found them in the sanctuary, I had just bought Peacock’s CD Lie Down in the Grass in the big foyer.

I don’t remember if Christine was there, but Scott was with some other people.  All I had to give him to autograph were the liner notes from Peacock’s CD.  He said, “Oh, no, not HIM!”  He wrote his initials and drew a little guitar.

I played this CD over and over again the next few weeks, loving its sound.  It was strange, with a unique sound I’d never heard anywhere before, and fun to listen to.  “Human Condition” was one of my favorite songs.

On the way home from the concert, the Michael W. Smith song “Friends” played on the van’s tape deck.  I listened to the words and thought of Shawn.  A tear or two escaped my eyes.  Some of the words to this song are,

Friends are friends forever if the Lord is Lord of them, and a friend will not say never ’cause the welcome will not end.  Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

I kept thinking of Shawn, and how our friendship had fallen apart.  He hadn’t called me after Cindy gave him my number.

Random Stories

I received an invitation to have dinner in Bossard with Miriam Gilbert and David Janoviak.  Only certain students were invited: I think it was for Writing majors and probably English or Theater majors.  Or it may have been for Honors CORE students; I really don’t remember.  In any case, the partitions were put up so that we were in a small area near the Muskie and the doors to the stairs.

My fiction teacher was also there.  She and, I believe, Gilbert talked on and on about the 60s, and what we students had missed by not being born in time to experience 1969.

I wasn’t sure what had happened in 1969, but I didn’t think I’d missed all that much.  I saw the 60s as an unstable time with revolts against things that didn’t deserve a revolt, such as the church and moral values.  Its drugs and free love were destructive.

I preferred to live in a time when my campus wouldn’t be overrun by protests or snipers or people who wanted to blow up campus buildings.  (High school teachers had told us how bad things got even in South Bend schools.)  Though everyone called my campus apathetic, I found it peaceful and pleasant.

Janoviak was a directing actor, had recently played Hamlet in a critically acclaimed performance, and was a former Roanoke student.  I knew about his accomplishments because Counselor Dude had posted an article about him on his door.  Gilbert was an English professor at the University of Iowa.

The next morning at 10:30am, they held a lecture on Hamlet.  Gilbert acted as a director, and told Janoviak how she wanted him to perform the “To be or not to be” speech.  She would tell him to play it pensively, comically, or with emphasis on this or that, and he would do it.

I noted that, depending on what emphasis you gave it, the same speech could have profoundly different meanings each time you said it.

I thought the presentation was fascinating, and wrote in my day planner, “’twas cool!”  Many students, however, couldn’t hear it, so they thought it was awful.  The bad acoustics in the Bradley auditorium were well known; I sat in one of the front rows, and could hear everything.  I figured if these kids had heard what was said, they would have been just as entranced as I was.


The ice cream selection that year was disappointing.  It still had some of the good flavors, but not as many and not as often.

That year or the year before, guys began wearing their baseball caps backwards.  The Group hated it.  We didn’t mind so much if the cap was worn properly, but backwards was just awful.

Around this time, if one of us was accused of lust, we would say, “It’s not lust!  I’m enjoying his beauty.”

Whiteheart‘s album Highlands came out around this time.  I had a bunch of coupons, which came with any Christian album I bought; there were enough to get Highlands for free as a cassette tape.  I didn’t know the songs and had no memories, familiarity, or nostalgia attached to them yet.  But in time, I would.  It had an excellent mix of rock and Celtic themes.  This is significant later.


On a day in early fall, perhaps in September or October, the weather had been cool, but then we had the last eighty-degree day of the year.  So I wandered around the woods.  It may have been my first time back there since Peter had broken up with me.  Until senior year, I would only go back there occasionally.

On this particular day, I watched black water bugs play on the surface of the lake, I think I saw a bunny or two, and I know I saw the cutest baby frogs.  I believe I got a little lost.  By the time I got back to the Campus Center, it was after my usual dinnertime of 5 o’clock.

I tried a new thing that evening: a chicken soft shell taco from the taco bar (which was sometimes there instead of the deli bar) and guacamole.  (The deli and taco bars were started before or during February 1992 because of student requests, and gave an alternative to whatever lunch or dinner choices were in the regular line.  They were also meant to shorten the regular line.)

I never found the guacamole there again, but I thought it was delicious on a chicken burrito.  Since I couldn’t find guacamole again, I learned that sour cream sauce was also delicious.

After that, I often went to get a chicken burrito or soft shell taco with chicken.  Since my dad couldn’t eat Mexican food, and I knew very little about it besides what I had in school lunches, I had no idea that you could get chicken burritos or soft shell tacos.  All I ever knew was beef with too many spices.


One night, the Phi-Delts had a party in the Pub.  Sharon played pool in a kind of tournament, and Pearl and I watched her.

As she played, a drunk, tall guy, Asian or Hispanic, came over and began talking to us.  He must have been older than college-age.  He kept hitting on Sharon and me.  Neither of us liked him because he was drunk, smoking and kind of scary.  Fortunately, his sober brother watched over him.


IV Bible Study/Small Group schedules: Daniel: Astrid in her room on Mondays at 8; Exploring the Gospels: Sharon in her room on Wednesdays at 8; Job: Pearl on Wednesdays at 9.

I don’t remember much about the other Bible studies, so maybe I didn’t go to those, but I do remember Astrid’s.  Only Clarissa and I went, but we loved it.  I would grab a piece of Werther’s butter candy as Clarissa and I went all the way up the back stairs to the third floor and Astrid’s room.

Astrid was UCC, but conservative.  Sometimes, her roommate Chloe sat nearby, doing homework.  We read the chapters out loud and talked about them, then Astrid led us in a short prayer.

We loved the many and repetitious verses detailing all the different officials and different instruments played at celebrations: They were fun to read out loud.  Outside of the Bible study, this would become our inside joke.  Here’s an example:

And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up (Daniel 3:2, NKJV).

These officials are repeated in verse 3.  Verse 5 reads:

[T]hat at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

These instruments are repeated in verse 7.


One day, the obscene phone caller struck again.  Now that Clarissa and I lived in Krueger, his favorite spot, we got a call from him one day.  I don’t remember much about it, just that I answered, told him very little, and hung up quickly.

One day, probably during bingo in Bossard, a girl we knew named Mona V. sat with us.  She started throwing food around, probably those dry Cheerios which were put in bowls and supposed to be used for bingo chips.

One struck Frank right on his ever-bigger bald spot.  Embarrassed, she didn’t want him to know she did it.  She and my friends disliked him because he was a bit of a pervert, cracking crass sex jokes all the time.

As for my friend Mona S., who started a prayer group with me freshman year, she dropped out of school early sophomore year.  But we kept in contact by letter.

Kids in the Hall, a Canadian comedy troupe, now provided the Group with another catchphrase: You shut one eye, look at somebody, frame her head with your index finger and thumb, start squeezing your fingers together, and say, “I’m crushing your head!”

Whenever I felt bored at meals and had drained most of my Mountain Dew, I poured a bit of salt into my cup and watch it fizz up.

Carol called Astrid “Boing-Boing” because she was bouncy like Tigger.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995: